Zimbabwe opposition leader Tsvangirai may become PM under Mugabe government
There is secret political deal happening in Zimbabwe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai could join Mugabe government as Prime Minister. A plan worked out by South African President Thabo Mbeki has indicated new reconciliation efforts between two warring sides.
Robert Mugabe would remain Zimbabwe's head of state but hand real power to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister under a plan proposed by South African President Thabo Mbeki, the Guardian reported on Monday.
President Mugabe would stay in place until a new constitution was negotiated and fresh elections were held, the paper said, quoting a senior source from Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The source told the paper that the plan included recognition of the first round vote in March won by Tsvangirai and added that Mugabe staying in place was acceptable to the MDC if it paved the way for a new constitution and vote.
Mbeki, the chief mediator in the crisis, met Mugabe in Harare on Saturday but Tsvangirai did not attend. Mugabe has said he will only enter talks if he is recognised as president but the MDC has dismissed this idea.
The MDC source told the paper that "all the basic ideas of the MDC" were in the proposals.
"The important thing is that it recognises the outcome of the March 29 election and that any government will be transitional on the way to new elections," the source was quoted as saying.
The report did not state Mugabe's response to the plan. It came with G8 industrial powers gathering in Japan expected to take steps on Zimbabwe after presidential elections in which Mugabe was the sole candidate when Tsvangirai pulled out because of violence against supporters.
"I think the G8 will strongly condemn what Mugabe has done. It will strongly question the legitimacy of his government," Dennis Wilder, the US National Security Council's senior director for Asia affairs, said en route to Japan.
Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who is visiting South Africa, said on his arrival that the crisis was "infecting the whole of Southern Africa" and said Mugabe's rule lacked legitimacy.